Odense [Denmark]: People with hearing impairments consume more energy while listening. Other cognitive functions suffer as a result of the excess energy. Cognitive functions are the brain processes that allow us to think and solve problems.
Researchers from the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark discovered a relationship between hearing loss and the development of dementia in a recent study that included data from 573,088 persons. This is the largest research of its sort to date.
There is already an increase in the number of people with dementia. This is mainly due to the ageing of the population as a whole, but there are also other risk factors, such as lifestyle and hearing.
Previous studies have suggested that there could be a link between hearing loss and dementia. Our study is larger than the previous studies, and we have demonstrated a link between hearing loss and dementia, says Assistant Professor Manuella Lech Cantuaria from the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark.
The results of the study show that people affected by hearing loss have up to a 13% higher risk of developing dementia compared to people with normal hearing. The high risk is especially seen in people with severe hearing loss.
The researchers also studied whether there was a difference in the risk depending on whether or not people wear hearing aids.
We found that the risk of developing dementia was 20 per cent higher for people who didn’t wear hearing aids compared to people with normal hearing. People who used hearing aids had a 6 per cent increased risk of developing dementia. This suggests that wearing a hearing aid can prevent or delay the development of dementia, explains Manuella Lech Cantuaria. (ANI)